Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
“When it’s time to move, say goodbye to everyone you’ve met in Fort Leavenworth. It’s OK to cry … Wish your friends good luck and jump in the car. Wave as you drive away. You can become pen pals with them once you move. Always remember them.”
Such was the advice of 9-year-old Eli Giltner as he addressed the stress of moving in a bonus article in the first edition of his newspaper The Truth, which came out May 17.
“(Moving) is always really hard on me, so I figure it’ll be hard on other people, so I just decided to help them,” Giltner said.
Along with articles, Giltner’s newspaper includes an advice column, his own weekly horoscope, a weekly weather forecast, various activities such as word searches and riddles, animal spotlights and reading lists.
“I want (readers) to know that they can learn while still having fun because learning can be fun if you make it fun,” Giltner said. “I like writing for kids. It’s just fun.”
Giltner handed out about 10 copies of the newspaper to neighbors, and sent out copies via e-mail, which his mom, Rachel Giltner, said taught him a lesson on the business side of things.
“He wanted to print 100 and stand on the street corner and try to sell them, but we had to talk about budgets and how he would have to pay his printing press and everything if we did all that,” Rachel Giltner said. “We told him, ‘you’ve got to get an audience before you get that big.’
“He’s making his little brother pay 25 cents an issue for the newspaper,” she said. “It has to be a state quarter.”
Rachel Giltner said her son has always liked to write.
“The first (article) he really wrote was the one about moving, and it made me tear up when I read it. We were talking about how that could really help other people, and so that’s why we wanted to share it with as many people as we could,” Rachel Giltner said.
“Everyone has loved it. He gave it to one kid in the car as they drove away, so the mom was very thankful.
“He’s always been my emotional child. He feels everything,” she said. “My husband and I always say that we chose this life, and it’s so hard for them to just kind of be thrown into this, especially when we’re only here for a year and then turning around and moving again. …There is a stigma for ‘boys don’t cry’ and ‘boys have to be tough,’ so for him to say it’s OK to cry, it’s OK to lean on your parents, that was pretty awesome for us to know that we’re fostering good, emotional health.”
Eli Giltner said the newspaper has helped him deal with his own emotions.
“I get to write out my own feelings, too,” he said. “Sometimes I just don’t understand my feelings and when I put them on paper, it just makes sense.”